18-wheelers are massive vehicles when compared to smaller passenger cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks. Beyond their size and weight when not loaded with cargo, an 18-wheeler carrying cargo can legally weigh as much as 80,000 pounds, according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
When a vehicle this heavy—or even lighter—is involved in a collision, there may be a significant risk of injury. Tragically, loss of life is a distinct possibility when 18-wheelers strike other vehicles or pedestrians.
An 18-wheeler accident lawyer serving Marysville will work to secure any compensation that you or a loved one deserve after an accident with a semi-truck. Call Bressman Law today at (614) 538-1116 for a free consultation if you have been injured, or your loved one has passed because of an 18-wheeler accident.
Possible Causes of 18-Wheeler Accidents
Drivers of 18-wheelers are generally professionals, certified with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) explains that drivers of 18-wheelers must undergo the following steps to obtain a CDL:
- Knowledge test
- Skills test
- Tests related specifically to the vehicle they plan to drive
- Additional tests if they require endorsements to drive specific vehicle types
Despite these qualifications, drivers of 18-wheelers are susceptible to error. The following are potential causes of accidents involving 18-wheelers.
For a free legal consultation with a 18-wheeler accident attorney in Marysville, call (614) 538-1116
Drivers Being Distracted
Distractions can arise from internal and external sources, taking drivers’ concentration away from safe vehicle operation and possibly resulting in an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that motorists who take their eyes from the road for only five seconds while traveling at 55 mph would travel 100 yards without their vision fixed on the roadway ahead.
There are several reasons that a driver may become distracted, including because:
- They choose to read or write a text message
- They are watching a video while driving
- They drop something and lean down to pick it up
- They are looking at something outside of their 18-wheeler which is not material to their driving
An 18-wheeler driver who is distracted may be liable if their distraction resulted in your collision.
Marysville 18-Wheeler Accident Attorney (614) 538-1116
Drivers Being Tired
Drivers of 18-wheelers may be beholden to specific pickup and drop off times for cargo and could become fatigued over the course of long stretches of driving. The risk of fatigue may be heightened if a driver does not have adequate sleep before driving, is on medications known to cause drowsiness, or does not take legal precautions against becoming tired.
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Drivers Making Dangerous Maneuvers
Along with distraction and tiredness, truckers’ actual driving maneuvers could result in a collision if they are unsafe. Some motorist acts which may produce an accident are:
- Driving closely behind other vehicles
- Changing lanes without verifying lanes are unoccupied
- Making dangerous turns
There are other circumstances under which an 18-wheeler accident may occur. The details of how your accident happened may be of interest to an 18-wheeler accident lawyer serving Marysville, who will guide any case that you may have for compensation. Call Bressman Law today at (614) 538-1116 for details about how hiring a lawyer could benefit you or a loved one.
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You May Be the Victim of a Negligent Motorist
Your lawyer may determine whether you are the victim of negligence. If you are the victim of negligence, then your lawyer will make your case for compensation through a lawsuit.
A lawyer may establish negligence based on the legal principle of duty of care. Per the Legal Information Institute (LII), a duty of care requires an individual (in this case, a motorist) to act reasonably. Acting reasonably may have meant not colliding with your vehicle or the vehicle of a loved one.
Your lawyer may follow a four-step sequence in order to make the case that negligence entitles you to compensation. The sequence goes as follows:
- Arguing that the defendant or defendants named in your case owed you a duty of care
- Showing through evidence and other available means that the defendant breached their duty of care
- Proving that the breach of duty of care caused your accident
- Exhibiting the losses you have suffered because of your 18-wheeler accident
Your lawyer may be able to negotiate a compensation settlement before having to make this case. They may also make this argument as part of negotiations. In the course of completing your lawsuit, your lawyer may:
Secure Evidence for Your Case
Your lawyer may work with other professionals to procure evidence related to your accident. This may include photographs of the damage your accident caused, video of the accident, witness accounts of the collision, a recreation of the accident, and any police report documenting your collision.
Evidence may be a critical piece of your case, whether used during settlement negotiations or trial.
Calculate Your Losses
Losses from your 18-wheeler accident may include pain and suffering, the income you lose because of injury, property damage, and healthcare expenses. If the 18-wheeler accident resulted in losing your loved one, you may experience a unique set of losses. By calculating the value of your losses, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement based on a concrete figure.
Your lawyer will strive to secure the compensation you deserve based on your 18-wheeler accident’s losses. A trucker (and possibly other parties) may be required to compensate you fairly for the harm that you have endured.
Call Bressman Law Today for a Free Consultation
The team at Bressman Law will provide legal services after your 18-wheeler accident or losing a loved one to a collision with an 18-wheeler. Call today at (614) 538-1116 for additional information about hiring an 18-wheeler accident lawyer serving Marysville.